On April 13, 2019, a full house packed the Community Gathering on Waste Management, ready to “Talk Trash”.
Joining me on the panel were Don Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the local Regional Service Commission, Brett McCrea, Manager of the Fredericton Regional Solid Waste Commission, Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, as well as the four City Councillors in the Fredericton South Riding: Kate Rogers, Greg Ericson, Stephen Chase and John MacDermid.
Recycling and waste management have been recurring issues that emerged at every community gathering I have hosted, making trash a natural choice of topic for an issues-based community gathering.
The main concerns or ideas raised by the audience included:
- Need for recycling services for apartments;
- Lack of glass recycling;
- Lack of curbside composting;
- Mandatory sorting system like in PEI;
- Smaller recycling bins in more convenient locations;
- Banning plastic bags.
The panel provided useful information about the current waste management system and explained why glass recycling and composting were not currently offered. Some of their main ideas and information included:
- Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to make producers pay for and be responsible for recycling their packaging;
- The need for City Council to pursue recycling options for apartment buildings;
- The need for incentives to promote more waste diversion and disincentives to reduce dumping in landfills;
- Fredericton’s system captures methane gas from organic waste to use as energy, rather than composting it
- A provincial ban on plastic bags may be likely;
- The need for a provincial waste strategy.
Names and contacts were collected at the end of the meeting to form a community committee to follow up and pursue outcomes from this meeting. You may view the final report for the Talking Trash Community Gathering here.
For further resources, see below:
- Draft Garbage and Recycling Program Review and Summary and Recommendations 2017
- Powerpoint presentation to Fredericton Council-in-Committee on Recycling in Multi-unit Buildings
- UNB Engineering report to the City of Fredericton on Glass Recycling 2013
- Powerpoint of Glass Recycling proposal by UNB Engineering